In addition to delivering the credit bearing EAP modules for undergraduate students, the English Language Centre also supports postgraduate students (Master’s and PhD) of XJTLU through a pre-sessional English programme, noncredit bearing ALA (Additional Learning Activity) modules and a wide variety of training programmes and support services. Established in February 2019, the Postgraduate Division also undertakes the university’s master’s admission test and provides English courses to XJTLU Chinese staff.
Although admitted to advanced degree programmes, Master’s students still face the double challenge of acculturation into an EMI (English as the Medium of Instruction) university and acquisition of research-oriented oral and written communication skills in an English medium academic environment. To enable students to function effectively on their Master’s programmes, an 8-week summer PSE programme is (5-week and 8-week) are offered to students who are admitted on conditional offers. After receiving intensive training in academic speaking and writing skills through the two courses, these students will be continuously supported during their Master’s by 4 ALA modules (LAN905, LAN915, LAN916, LAN917, LAN918) which focus on advanced speaking, reading and writing skills and research skills, and more customized CS (Continuing Support) services, including lectures, workshops, speaking clinics, and one-to-one consultations.
The ELC’s PGR Support was relaunched in March 2019 with the creation of the PG Unit. Since then, our PGR Support services have been transformed, and XJTLU’s PhD students are now able to access a level and variety of support services that are on a par with, or even better, than what they would have at the University of Liverpool.
This section of the Postgraduate EAP provision works closely with the Graduate School, academic Departments, and EDU to deliver training programmes and support services, including workshops/webinars, one-to-one consultations, Writing for Publication ‘Boot Camps’, and mock viva service.
The purpose of the Staff English programmes is threefold: first, to improve the English skills of non-teaching Chinese colleagues across the whole university; second, to develop these skills within real-life and relevant intercultural contexts; third, to repay somewhat the services and support which our non-teaching colleagues offer us.
The Staff English programmes have run for several years, but from 2019 the design principle was changed, with the wish being to develop a participant-centred syllabus. To this end, robust and thorough needs analyses have since been undertaken to inform course design – basically, giving the learners what they want and need.
Successful general Staff English courses took place throughout the summer of 2019; these included topics such as email writing, note-taking, meetings, discussions and mini-presentations. We also offered a bespoke Library Staff English course. From summer 2020 onward, we will continue to offer similar general Staff English classes as well as a bespoke communication by e-mail course online.